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Fill ‘Er Up – Installing a Tanks, Inc. Fuel Tank

By D. Brian Smith

Photography: D. Brian Smith

Installing a Tanks, Inc. fuel tank in the SAC Hot Rod Products chassis is the easiest job we’ve ever performed to date on the ’34 Ford Redline Review Roadster Pickup. The reason the task at hand was so simple is that the Smith garage doesn’t have any welding equipment. We skipped any jobs that required welding. We also postponed installation of the tank’s sending unit and internal fuel pump. The trick up our sleeve is that we’ve lined up a professional fabricating shop to plumb the fuel system and brake lines. By putting the tank in place, we’ll be able to get the custom exhaust system created at another pro shop, in addition to having the chassis plumbed with stainless steel brake and fuel lines, by a facility that specializes in such work.

The fuel tank’s installation took less than two hours’ time. Follow along as father Dan B. Smith and son D. Brian Smith installed the Tanks, Inc. 16-gallon stainless steel fuel tank in the SAC Hot Rod Products all independent Kugel Komponents chassis. Professionals will be working on the DreamSmith roadster pickup soon. For now, witness the hot rod hauler hobbyists in their SoCal garage fill those rear framerails up with a Tanks fuel tank.

The Tanks, Inc. 16-gallon stainless steel fuel tank fits between the SAC Hot Rod Products built ‘33/’34 framerails perfectly. Find out how easy this installation is by watching father and son Smith do the work.

From Tanks, Inc., we received a 16-gallon stainless steel fuel tank for the ‘33/’34 Ford, an inboard fuel pump, a sending unit, the fuel fill pipes, and a stainless steel fuel cap. Sacramento Vintage Ford supplied a ‘33/’34 Ford fuel tank installation kit.

Since it was premature to install the tank’s sending unit and internal fuel pump, we taped the holes with duct tape, to prevent dust particles from getting inside the fuel tank. Here, Dad taped over the hole for the sending unit.

He did the same thing with the hole for the internal fuel pump. When the chassis is plumbed with fuel and brake lines, we’ll determine whether we’re going to use a high-volume external fuel pump or the supplied internal pump.

Better safe than sorry, we also taped closed the fitting for the return fuel line.

Before installing the fuel tank, we placed the three supplied Sacramento Vintage Ford rubber installation pads.

Our first trial fitment of the fuel tank revealed the driver’s side hole in the framerail needed to be widened about an 1/8th of an inch. I filed the hole larger with a rattail file.

The rearmost attachment flange on the passenger side of the fuel tank was bent up a bit in shipment. We turned our vice around to the anvil side to provide a flat surface. Since some Smiths are descended from blacksmiths, we’re no strangers to using a hammer and anvil. While my girlfriend supported the fuel tank’s flange against the anvil, Dad flattened the attachment ear with a few well-placed blows.

After placing the Tanks fuel tank in its new home, I hand tightened the three 9/16-inch x 1.5-inch Sacramento Vintage Ford bolts, installation springs and castle nuts. Eventually, a cotter pin will hold each of the three castle nuts fast. Since we’ll be taking the fuel tank back out to powdercoat the chassis, the cotter pins will be used at final assembly.

The hand tightened Sacramento Vintage Ford fuel tank fastener looked thus up close.

I held the castle nuts with a 9/16-inch open-end wrench, while my girlfriend tightened the three bolts with a socket wrench.

Notice how far the rear flange of the Tanks fuel tank is from the back of the chassis? There’s no way we’ll get a metal-to-metal rattle with that sort of clearance. Now that the fuel tank’s in place, we’ll soon be able to get the chassis plumbed with fuel and hydraulic brake lines, in addition to a custom stainless steel exhaust system. Stay tuned.

—————–  Source  —————–

Kugel Komponents

(562) 691-7006


SAC Hot Rod Products

(714) 997-3433


Sacramento Vintage Ford

(916) 853-2244


Tanks, Inc.

(320) 558-6882


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